I recently compiled the following family history of my grandfather William Hossfield, from notes and interviews collected by my aunt. I am posting it here so that it can be of assistance to others, and so that if anyone has any additional info about this family you can let me know.
HOSFELD / HOSSFIELD FAMILY HISTORY
George Casper Hosfeld (father of John Casper Hosfeld) Born Oct. 14, 1838 - Died Jan. 22, 1914 Anna Tetschner Hosfeld (mother of John Casper Hosfeld) Born Dec. 19, 1841 - Died July 12, 1906
John Casper Hosfeld was born June 22, 1863 in Rosa Meinengen, near Leipzig, eastern Germany. He emigrated to America in 1883 at the age of 18 to avoid military service.His name first appeared in the Paterson City Directory in 1883-84, as Casper Hosfeld, laborer.The address given was 111 Butler Street.
Anna Hoerber was born August 7, 1860 in Paterson.She was the daughter of Leonard and Margaret Wydinger Hoerber, originally of Germany.She married Casper Hosfeld June 3, 1888.Anna lost her first-born infant and was told she would be unable to have more children.Shortly afterward, the Hosfelds’ neighbor Lina Opal Zellner died February 12, 1891, when her seventh son William was 9 days old (see my posting at the Zellner Surname page for more info).Because the families were close friends, Casper and Anna offered to care for Willie in place of the child they had lost.Although Willie’s father August was at first determined to care for the baby himself, after three months he agreed to the offer.On June 6 1891 the Hosfelds adopted the baby, giving him the name William Carl Hosfeld.
Despite what Anna had been told, Casper and Anna Hosfeld later had two children of their own:
Elmer - Born Oct. 26, 1892 – Died Nov. 11, 1956.Married. Children:John (Jack), Catherine
George - Born Dec. 5, 1898 – Died Jan. 10 1972.Married. Children:George, Bernice.
More information about the upbringing and lives of Elmer, George and William can be found in "Willhelm Carl Hossfeld, A History", which I will be posting as a reply message to this post.For information about George Hossfield (world champion speed typist) and his descendents, see “PROFILE: The family of George L. Hossfield,” Hossfeld Heritage newsletter, July – Aug. 1988, which I can supply upon request.
As told by Lena Zellner Colombo, the Hosfelds kept the information about William’s adoption from him.Both families attended St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Paterson. Lena and Clara would say (in German) to their little brother, “We’re your sisters.”He “thought they were crazy.”
Anna Hoerber Hosfeld died July 8, 1935.Casper Hosfeld died July 1957.
According to family tradition, the Hosfelds changed their last name to Hossfield during World War I to make it sound “less German.” After the war, some changed their name back to Hosfeld, while others (including at least William and George) did not.Under this adopted and Americanized name William began his own family, marrying Bertha Hamke Oct. 11, 1915 at Rockville, Maryland.
William Carl Hossfield died June 17, 1962. Bertha Hamke Hossfield died in the early 1990’s.
Children of William and Bertha Hossfield: Casper Henry Hossfield:May 14, 1918 – Nov. 26, 2002 Virginia Hossfield Floyd:Nov. 17, 1919 – (Alpha) Lois Hossfield Kozman:Sept. 16, 1923 –